Faithful care of the Earth: 9-23-09
Really knowing Judaism: 9-25-09

Faith WITH works: 9-24-09

A bit of a collection of items today:


* Are you aware of the multi-faith effort called ONE Sabbath? It was launched recently to encourage faith communities to take action to help end poverty around the globe.

Is that an idealistic goal? Of course. Poverty has always been with us. But that doesn't excuse people of faith. Rather, it requires them to understand the causes of poverty and to work to eradicate them, even as they also seek to minister individually to people in poverty.

The page to which I've linked you will allow you to get your church, synagogue, mosque or other congregation registered to be part of this broad effort. The lead singer of U2, Bono, is a member of the ONE board.

* The third annual "Faith in Action" Sunday is coming Oct. 11.

The idea was developed by World Vision, Zondervan and Outreach, Inc., in 2007 to encourage churches, ministries and small groups to find ways to meet needs in their local communities.

For a roster of participating congregations, click here.

Even if such efforts sometimes aren't as effective as one might hope, I think they're important because, as most religions say, what matters is not good intentions (or even bad intentions) but action. And these efforts are about action.

* * *


Although this piece appeared in the Memphis newspaper a month ago, I just found it and think it's worth passing along. It's about the U.S. Army's first Buddhist chaplain. Although I'm a pretty strict church-state separationist, I have no problem with the military having chaplains. I think they perform a necessary and valuable service for our people in uniform.

* * *

P.S.: You can follow me on Twitter at


Will Graham

None of those works can compare to the ATHEIST RELIEF FUND that "FREE"THINKERS set up last year.

Remember our little pal bragging about it?

Say, how did that turn out? How many people did the ATHEIST RELIEF FUND of KCFREETHOUGHT help?

Will Graham

Say, Cole...yesterday you were telling people to crawl under a rock an SHUT UP.

Is that what "FREETHINKING" means? Telling people to "Crawl under a rock and SHUT UP".

Of course, you claim you did not say "die" like your little pal, but what do you think happens to people who "crawl under a rock"?

You are a WISHY WASHY athiest. Why don't you have the guts to say what you mean. At least your pal has that! (Of course, some might call it stupidity and not guts, but whatever.)

Dolores Lear

"Rather, it requires them (faith communities) to understand the causes of poverty and to work to eradicate them."

Faith members and communities, movie stars and other celebrities have all kinds of concerts and money raising events. Why do the poor get poorer as the rich get richer? Because of the Population Explosion? Who Cares? God?

Why do Humans especially Religious Humans need to be Billionaires and Millionaires on God's Free Resources For All Life on our Home Planet? And give the crumbs from the rich man's table? What good does the Widow's Mite do?

What happens to all the money raised? Overhead and Salaries for Organizations and Humans that dispense the money? Who Cares?

When did God tell Humans to buy and sell the Resources on Earth? In Genesis all Earth's Resources, for all Species was Free. Who Cares? God?

"The third annual "Faith in Action" Sunday is coming Oct. 11. - in 2007 to encourage churches, ministries and small groups to find ways to meet needs in their local communities."

By the time they do this, what happens to all the Starving Humans elsewhere that do not have Faith in Action Communities? Where does that money come from? Who Cares? God?

When will Humans really Care about Sharing God's Resources After Birth? Many leave money to Charities After Death. So how does Charity compare to Equal Sharing of God's Resources, as it was 'in the beginning before Sin?

Who Cares or even Knows Equal Sharing of the Earth's Resources for All Species was what the Human's Lifestyle was supposed to be?

It's Official: Water Found on the Moon

Evolution Can't Go Backward

Can Robots Make Ethical Decisions?

Teen Birth Rates Higher in Highly Religious States

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole



Teen pregnancy rate higher in higher religious states? No, cannot be so... - NOT!

Religious stupidity knows no borders... Proper sex education in schools reduces pregnancy rates drastically. I recall a study last year where kids in "abstinence only" programs (both public school based and private) had a higher % of sex, STDs and pregnacy. Also, 50-80% kids who took "abstinence vows" and had a certificate given to them in 3-5 years "totally" forgot they took the vow. Al

Re: Buddhist Chaplain in the Military... I wonder if there would be a "freethinking"/Atheist Chaplain or a Satan worshipping Chaplain one day? - this will rile up some feathers...
Budget Cuts Force Chemistry Major Into Alchemy Major;
But New Awnings Look Great ---
Chemistry has been around since the what, 18th century? Alchemy? Go ahead, guess. Try 7,000 years. Are we supposed to latch on to every scientific fad [sic], or should we stick with old tried and true?

Doctoral student explores history of scientific
chemistry lab research and connection to alchemy --

Most everything – from food to clothing to medicine – that exists today is tested in laboratories, and the analyses produced are considered solid. How labs have gained such credibility is the question Gail Marlow Taylor pondered as a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton. She earned her master's degree in history in 2008, after completing her thesis, a look back into alchemy, which arrived in Europe from the Middle East.


Bill, the Buddhist chaplain sure has an interesting story to share. I think it's neat that he doesn't see embracing Buddhism as a rejection of Christianity. From reading Tao Te Ching, I also didn't feel that any of it conflicted with Christianity. After so many years of living in an either/or mentality, it's refreshing to become more both/and (I've actually heard this phrase before -- either/or versus both/and, so I didn't come up with it myself).

About working to eliminate poverty, it's been exciting to me to learn about the approach of the Catholic Worker movement. And to be starting to feel a sense of community with the house that is near us (Cherith Brook).

From yesterday -- adamh, just because you can't find common ground with 1 or 2 people who post here, is that any reason to abandon discussion with the rest of us, and stay locked into unproductive bash-fests with the 2 with whom you feel discussion is impossible?

Also from yesterday -- Red Biddy, I've also heard that we have worse birth outcomes than many other countries in the developed world. I haven't studied up on it recently -- but from my past reading I got the impression that countries with better outcomes, tended to be ones where only the truly high-risk pregnancies were treated as high-risk.

In the U.S., maybe it's the fear of lawsuits that has so many obstetricians jumping the gun, i.e. thinking that a cesarean section is warranted for each and every breech birth, and so on. Obstetricians are specifically trained to handle the extremely small percentage of pregnancies where medical intervention is necessary. (Continued)


(Continued) But nowadays in the U.S., obstetricians are attending the majority of births -- which seems to me more dangerous for everyone, both high and low-risk women. Women with normal pregnancies seem extremely likely, even if they'd been planning on natural labor, to end up getting pitocin (which tends to result in a need for an epidural, because it intensifies contractions) ...

And I think most people know there's a high-risk of the doctor telling you your labor isn't progressing fast enough and you need a cesarean. Pregnant women tend to be discouraged from getting "too attached" to the idea of natural labor, because it's extremely likely that they won't get one and then they'll be disappointed.

And this whole situation is -- I think -- also risky for the women with truly high-risk pregnancies. Because they should be "the ones" getting the high-risk care, but they're having to share space and attention with women who'd likely be better attended by a midwife or general practitioner. I'd personally rather be attended by a midwife than an obstetrician -- that's because things were pretty normal with both my pregnancies, and my homebirth was smooth, whereas there was a whole lot of discomfort associated with my previous hospital birth.

Of course, when you are thinking about homebirth you'll have all these people telling you how they and their baby would be dead if they hadn't been in a hospital. But through researching, I learned that with most of the stuff that can go wrong, you see indications of it well enough ahead of time that you can safely get to a hospital. So it made more sense to me to just learn what danger signs to watch for, and of course to go to hospital if anything abnormal happened.


Also from yesterday -- adamh, you seem to be saying that if people don't want abortion illegalized, then that means they are "for" abortion. I am not for abortion -- but as I've already shared, I think making women's pregnancies the business of the government would be very detrimental to our quality of life and our freedom in the long run.

I guess that means I'm not as single-mindedly against abortion as you are -- but I stand by my assertion that this doesn't mean I'm FOR abortion.

Similarly, when I was in college over 20 years ago, I met a fellow student who was truly passionate about eliminating child abuse. She thought any method (no matter how extreme or detrimental) was warranted if it could eliminate the problem. And she said the only way to REALLY know how children were being treated in their homes, was for every home to be under video surveilance so families could be observed when they weren't aware of it, and parents weren't on their best behavior.

Since I'm not willing to go to this extreme, does this mean I am "for" child abuse? I'll admit that while I hate the thought of even one child being beaten, raped, or deprived of food -- I hate even worse the thought of every family living under video surveilance -- even if this sacrifice of privacy could save that one child.

So the truth is: my opposition to abuse and abortion is not strong enough for me to be willing to relinquish the freedom and privacy that I love. What does this say about me? I like to think that it says I'm honest and willing to deal with complexity -- but maybe it just means I'm a wishy washy theist.


I've heard 2 things about the study that says teen birth rates are higher in highly religious states --

1)It's just looking at birth-rate, not pregnancy rate, so I'm wondering if there may be higher rates of abortion in less religious states?

2)The study doesn't distinguish between married an unmarried teens, so a married 19-year-old mother is lumped into the same category as a 13-year-old mother. But these 2 situations don't really seem the same to me.

adam harrison

Would Scientists lie?

Only if money is involved!

adam harrison

Regarding the statistics about pregnancy rates is "more religious states"...and how is that determined anyway...remember one thing:

Statistics don't lie!

Statisticians do!

And as far as making pregnancy the business of the government and that being detrimental...well, it could hardly be any more detrimental to the ONE AND A HALF MILLION MURDERED EVERY YEAR than it already is.

If you are PRO CHOICE, that means CHOICE is a higher value to you than LIFE.


adamh, that is too bad about that research being tampered with!

Incidents like this just affirm the need to be cautious in our interpretation and application of any study results.

And of course this incident makes a great case for double-blind studies, especially since it was another group doing the same experiment and getting different results, that led to some people taking a closer look at the data and discovering that it was falsified.

Dolores Lear

The Answer to Charity and Abortion is Celibate Males.

Without all the Poor Humans there would be enough food, and without all the 7 Billion Humans from 1 Billion in 1900, there would be less abortion, even if there was abortion up to 1900.

But we have High Tech Science to Use for Feeding the Multitudes, when we stop putting a price tag on God's Resources.

And Humans have the High Tech Resources to stop all Body Birth of Humans, until we make a High Tech Womb, with our Resources, instead of Nuclear Bombs.

Pro-Life Religious or Atheists Humans do not make a difference in a Sexual Revolution or just regular married sex. Abortion, Inequality, and Starving Humans, and Killers, are the Result of the Body Birth Lifestyle of Purebred Adam and Eve Clones, Reproducing Children.

So Celibate Males is the Only Way to stop all this Human Abuse of Each Other and Our Home Planet, until we can again Reproduce Male and Female Purebred Clones, with Equal Resources for All Life Species on Earth, and High Tech Spaceships to Escape our Dying Planet.

Red Biddy

Oh ! for Goodness sake, Dolores, the answer to Charity and Abortion isn't Celibate males....(you really do have a problem with sex don't you ?) You are never going to get any red blooded male to give up sex for the good of the planet - no way !! Nor should they ! What about Celibate females - maybe they should be the ones to "give it up" too as they are the ones doing the reproducing aren't they ?
The reason there are so many abortions in the United States is the cost of birth control which many insurance companies won't pay for. They'll pay for Viagra of course - ED being considered a medical condition but preventing pregnancy, is apparently not considered a "medicaL" condition unless a woman has been warned by her doctor that another pregnancy could kill her or be very, very difficult.
Comparison of costs I found was $10.00 fo one dose of Viagra versus $30.00 per month for "the pill."
So all you pro-life people who go on and on about the number of abortions carried out in the U.S. every year - why don't you get on to the insurance companies and MAKE them cough up for birth control coverage for their clients ?

Red Biddy

You wrote that pitocin tends to result in the need for an epidural because it intensifies contractions. THIS WAS NONSENSE !
It all depends on HOW the pitocin is administered. Obviously you had a bad experience with your first birth in hospital (probably lousy doctors ?) but that's no reason to make such a silly generality - as if that makes you an expert on the subject !
Every pregnancy is different. Even a woman whose had multiple pregnancies never has the same experience every time. Don't know why this is just is !
I had pitocin or something similar to start me off when I was about to give birth......have no idea whether it intensified contractions or not, but it certainly made the labor part of giving birth a lot faster - my son popped out in two hours and I didn't need an epidural, anaesthetic or anything else ! Does this make me an expert ? I don't think so. Maybe just a skilled doctor controlling the IV drip ....???

Dolores Lear

Red Biddy,
No Kidding, The Adam and Eve story of Eve being Reproduced from the Male Rib, is not a fairy tale. It is High Tech Fact.

Adam and Eve were not to Reproduce Children, just as brothers/sisters are not supposed to Reproduce Children. Why?

So Adam did make Eve the Baby Machine, instead of God/Us that Reproduced them without Body Birth. How? Supernaturally by High Tech Science?

Until we get that through our Misbred Body Birth Brains, High Tech Viagra and Birth Control Pills, will be needed to continue the Population Explosion until we Kill Each Other and our Planet with using the High Tech Reproduction Resources for Human Pollution, Nuclear Waste and Bombs.

Where are we going to put the next set of Multiple Humans, that will reproduce by the 7 Billions today with Body Birth. We cannot feed the 7 Billion, so how can we feed anymore.

We do not have the land area for the 7 Billion today. We are stacked up in High Rise buildings, and on Houseboats on the water.

So how are we going to conquer Abortion and Starvation with more Humans than we have today, with all the redblooded males today?

It only took 100 years, for red blooded males, to make 6 Billion more than in 1900. How many more Humans will we have in 5 years let alone another 100 years, if Insurance companies will not cough up affordable birth control for the female, and keep making cheap Viagra for the male?

At least natural abortion and death to the mother and child does help control a little, but why continue with that and war, to control the population, which is not controllable?

Where are the Fertile redblooded Males, to Take Care of all their Starving Children and wives? Waiting on Charity?


Imagine where we would have been today with development of space travel, following it advances in technology, solar power generation, medicine development if NASA dug only 3.5 inches deeper 50 years ago on Mars....
Craters Show 1970s Viking Lander Missed Martian Ice by Inches

That happens to be where the Viking Lander 2 was in operation from 1976 to 1980. As part of its science program, the Lander dug a trench about 6 inches deep. The new model predicts that if it had gone an extra 3.5 inches — a bit longer than a credit card — it would have hit ice.

“To find ice that far from the pole where Viking 2 was, it would have changed the way everyone looked at Mars for the next 20 years,” said NASA Goddard archivist, David Williams, who curates the Viking project historical site. “It would have been a whole different model for Mars… If they’d dug down just a little more, they’d have this complete opposite view of Mars.”

Just Thinking

Empty words in a blog don't count as faith.

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